After some deliberation I have decided to share my closely held chili recipe. After all, how can I have a food and travel blog and still keep it a secret. It’s my hope that you enjoy it as much as we have.
My chili recipe is an often requested favorite for family and friends. With both ground beef and tender steak or chuck roast this recipe will soon become a hit at your house as well.
Chili? or Chili!!
Growing up in Appalachia we were served something that was called chili but now that I know better it was really a soup. It was usually served with grilled cheese and crackers. You were considered daring if you added a little hot sauce.
My eyes were opened in 1987 in Germany of all places. An Army Sergeant from Texas showed me how he made a true chili. It was thick and had a depth of flavor that was amazing.
I’ve tinkered with the recipe over the years until it was perfect and now I’m finally sharing it with you!
Big Jim’s World Famous Chili
Meet the Meat
Brown your ground beef in a skillet on medium then drain the fat and add to a crock pot.
Next, turn the skillet to medium high then brown your chuck roast/steak which is cut into bite sized pieces.
TIP: Any of your typical beef roast or stew meat will work here. Chuck, round, eye of round, tri tip etc. Something with a nice marble of fat would be preferable, but if that’s not available you can still cook it enough to make the meat tender. If you hunt, you can add deer meat instead of beef. Also, healthy food is great and if you are so inclined you can use turkey or chicken in this chili, all I ask is that you leave my name out of it. 😉
No need to cook the chuck roast all the way through, just get a good sear on it. Add the chuck roast/steak juices and all to a crock pot.
Building a depth of flavor
wet then dry
Turn the crock pot on and pour the beer and tomato sauce over the meat.
The brand of beer is up to you. I prefer using a dark beer or at least a full bodied beer. Whatever you have on hand is fine, but don’t bother with light beer as it’s doesn’t have much flavor to begin with. You can add more beer to the recipe to lubricate the chef if needed.
The alcohol cooks out but if you prefer to go without it you can use water or even beef stock instead.
Now add the diced onion, minced garlic and the dry ingredients (Chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, salt and garlic.)
For a milder chili add only half the cayenne.
Like it spicy/fiery? Add more cayenne. Just be mindful or your guests and their tastebuds. Also, the longer it cooks the spicier it gets.
Stir well until blended.
Slow and tender
Slow cook in a crock pot for 3 to 4 hours on high stirring occasionally.
If you are using a tougher cut of meat you can add more time.
You’ll know it’s ready when the chuck roast/steak is super tender.
to bean or not to bean
30 minutes prior to serving, drain the liquid from the can of beans and add them to the chili.
My recipe is low on beans, the meat is the star of this dish!
For the bean hater among you feel free to omit them.
Thick and unique
Masa flour is traditionally used to make tortillas, tacos and other delicious Mexican and southwestern food.
Masa flour is made by drying corn, soaking/cooking it in a lime water solution, drying it again and then grinding it into a flour. This process is called nixtamalization and make the masa easier to digest and gives the it a delicious flavor.
Don’t use corn meal; you won’t get the slurry we are looking for to add a unique flavor and thickness to the chili.
Gradually add small amounts warm water to the masa flour while stirring until you have a slurry. This should be thick and wet enough to stir but won’t be pourable.
Add the masa slurry to the crock pot and stir in 15 minutes prior to serving.
- Top the chili with fresh shredded cheddar and a dollop of sour cream. Dip into it with Fritos Scoops, (Our favorite side to enjoy with this chili.)
- Ladle chili onto fresh baked cornbread. A hint of sweetness in the cornbread plays very well against a spicy chili.
- We served it this time as Chili and Waffles, with shredded cheddar and sour cream. (Waffle recipe to come…)
Chili is one of those dishes that surprisingly tastes better as leftovers. It’s delicious when first made, but the melding of flavors continues as it sits overnight and it is amazing the next day, or the day after.
We typically triple this recipe so that we can enjoy the leftovers and it freezes well also! If you triple the recipe, though, be careful with the spices….especially cayenne! Our suggestion for doubling or tripling the recipe will be in the notes section of the recipe!
Chili is one of our favorite, stick to your bones meals in colder weather. It’s warm, filling, and the aroma while it is cooking will make you hungry all day long!
Steak in chili….NOSH or no?
Big Jim’s World Famous Chili
- Crock Pot
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 lb Chuck, Round, or stew meat
- 1 8 oz can Tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz can Chili beans
- 2 tbs Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Oregano Mexican
- ½ tsp Paprika Smoked
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Cayenne
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- ½ Onion
- 8 oz of Beer
- 3 tbs Masa Flour
- Cut Chuck roast into 1” to 1 ½” chunks; trim fat while cutting.
- Brown ground beef and then chuck roast in a skillet then place in a Crock Pot.
- Add the tomato sauce and beer
- Add chili powder, salt, paprika, *cayenne, cumin, garlic and onion then stir. *For milder chili only add half of the cayenne.
- Cook in a crock pot on high for 3 to 4 hours stirring occasionally until chunks of beef are tender.
- 30 minutes prior to serving: drain can of beans then stir them into the chili.
- 15 minutes prior to serving: place masa flour in a bowl and gradually add warm water until you have a thick slurry; then stir it into the chili.
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